Saturday, January 05, 2008

How Hillary Clinton blew it

An interesting blog post from an LA Times writer on how Sen. Clinton blew it (though don't count her out yet!):

As proof of her experience, she talks about her fights. the past ones, which we all probably remember, maybe too well. Her struggles, which she saw as against entrenched health care, insurance and vast right-wing interests, but many others saw as surviving the wandering eyes and hands of an errant husband whom many of her gender would have walked away from.

Then, because he is so charming, popular and politically astute, as unlikely proof of her independent accomplishments the alleged feminist inexplicably and repeatedly trots out that very husband, who ends up outshining and out-talking the person who's supposed to be the candidate. A Clinton dynasty after a Bush dynasty? Is that change?

Her prevarications over drivers licenses for illegals and the revelation of her planting questions in allegedly open public forums added to her image of calculation. Like Bush, she stopped talking to the press, a controlling strategy which can avoid some mistakes but looks defensive, even suspicious.

More importantly, it's a prevent strategy that forfeits any opportunity to shape her own image as a likeable human. What's her favorite color, movie, recent book, snack food, TV show, whatever. When, at the urging of a CNN debate producer, Clinton was asked something as stupid and sexist yet simple as preferring diamonds or pearls, she liked them both. Is there some pearl lobby PAC that donated to her campaign through Norman Hsu?

How Hillary Clinton blew it

What the Hill happened to her?

Hillary Clinton had everything on her side, it seemed. Name recognition. A nationwide network of political contacts from a generation of party work. Dozens of endorsements, albeit from aging singers, pols and athletes. A vaunted political operation from her husband's numerous successes. Her popular husband himself. A detailed grasp of policy. A steely determination. A sharp calculating mind. More than $100 million. And, until Thursday night, a sense of inevitability about her Democratic nomination and even coronation as the next president, the first first lady to do that, and a triumphant return to the White House.

Now, BOOM! That's gone. She blew it.

But how?


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